Like Clay in the Potter's Hands...
Marie Smith fondly remembers the day she set foot on Vanguard University (SCBC at the time). She was a new believer and hungry to know more about God and His purpose for her life. It was here that she met Willyla Bushnell, a Vanguard professor, who became her mentor. Willyla had a profound effect on the young Marie Smith, and helped her navigate her formative years in College. It was here that she developed a love for learning and teaching, and what it meant to surrender everything to God and to submit to His plans.
Following her graduation from Vanguard, Marie felt the call to work in a small Alaskan town where she taught at a school. Eventually she found herself in Anchorage, Alaska teaching at a school on Ft. Richardson Army base. While she was there she met her future husband, Bob Smith, a red head Texan who worked as a Medic at the base. It was during this time that she was also one of 70 people selected nation wide to attend a special science program through the University of Alaska, Anchorage that led to her attaining a Masters degree in Science. Marie and Bob moved back to Southern California, and Marie began teaching at a Jr. High in Garden Grove where she worked until she retired. A few weeks after she was married her husband Bob, who was an electrical linesman, suffered an accident that resulted in the loss of his legs and one arm. This tragic accident only served to deepen her faith and trust in God's plan. Bob recovered from his accident and went on to have a successful career as a contractor in Southern California.
Marie established the Willyla Busnhnell scholarship fund in 1997 to honor the memory of her mentor. The scholarship is established through a trust and continues to benefit Vanguard students who are eager to learn as Marie was when she was younger. Marie says, "I know what these young people are going through because I was there once." Marie is grateful for her time at Vanguard, and she is passionate about giving back to the institution that has given her so much. She sees this generation of students to be very much like her, and she knows that Vanguard continues to prepare them for a life of service after they leave."